The Safety of Androgens: Prostate and Cardiovascular Disease

  • D. J. Handelsman
Part of the Mineralogical Society Series book series (ENDO, volume 5)


Traditionally, the major concerns regarding the safety of androgen therapy are the possibility that cardiovascular and prostate disease might be initiated or pre-existing diseases aggravated. These concerns arise in relation to all forms of androgen therapy but are increasingly prominent in relation to the growing use of androgen supplementation in ageing men (Tenover, 1996) where these strongly age-related conditions are already common. This chapter reviews the basis for such concerns, aiming to evaluate the likely benefits and risks of androgen therapy, particularly for ageing men. Similar considerations arise among users of hormonal male contraception and androgen replacement therapy for classical androgen deficiency. In these clinical situations the younger population with low background rate of cardiovascular and prostate diseases together with the therapeutic imperative to maintain strictly physiological androgen levels makes these safety concerns more remote. Pharmacological androgen therapy (Liu et al., 1998) and androgen abuse (Jin et al., 1996; Handelsman et al., 1997) involve additional toxicological and safety issues beyond the scope of this review.


Prostate Cancer Androgen Receptor Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Androgen Action Urogenital Sinus 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Handelsman
    • 1
  1. 1.ANZAC Research InstituteUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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